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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(8), 824; doi:10.3390/rs9080824

Automatic Power Line Inspection Using UAV Images

School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
Collaborative Innovation Center of Geospatial Technology, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Power line inspection ensures the safe operation of a power transmission grid. Using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images of power line corridors is an effective way to carry out these vital inspections. In this paper, we propose an automatic inspection method for power lines using UAV images. This method, known as the power line automatic measurement method based on epipolar constraints (PLAMEC), acquires the spatial position of the power lines. Then, the semi patch matching based on epipolar constraints (SPMEC) dense matching method is applied to automatically extract dense point clouds within the power line corridor. Obstacles can then be automatically detected by calculating the spatial distance between a power line and the point cloud representing the ground. Experimental results show that the PLAMEC automatically measures power lines effectively with a measurement accuracy consistent with that of manual stereo measurements. The height root mean square (RMS) error of the point cloud was 0.233 m, and the RMS error of the power line was 0.205 m. In addition, we verified the detected obstacles in the field and measured the distance between the canopy and power line using a laser range finder. The results show that the difference of these two distances was within ±0.5 m. View Full-Text
Keywords: power line inspection; power line extraction; dense matching; obstacles within power line corridors; power line monitoring power line inspection; power line extraction; dense matching; obstacles within power line corridors; power line monitoring

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, Y.; Yuan, X.; Li, W.; Chen, S. Automatic Power Line Inspection Using UAV Images. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 824.

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